Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Officials: Homecoming weekend less raucous than in past years

by on October 13, 2014 10:59 AM

Local officials reported Sunday that emergency services and Indiana Regional Medical Center were busier than usual during the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Homecoming weekend, but there were no major incidents or injuries Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The Indiana Area Collaborative Team provided the information during its third press conference of the weekend Sunday.

Borough police today reported charges are expected to be filed against a Clarion man, who was discovered riding the back of Indiana Fire Association’s ladder truck 101 that had been dispatched to a fire in Burrell Township between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday.

Patrol officers discovered the man on the firetruck on the 200 block of South Seventh Street, said Police Chief William Sutton. The 21-year-old man fled when officers tried to halt the truck, and was arrested following a foot pursuit and a brief struggle.

“He was arrested for public drunkenness and other charges, that would include obstructing emergency services, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest,” Sutton said. “But the charges have not been filed yet.”

It wasn’t clear this morning whether the man is a student at IUP or a visitor to town.

There were no crowds blocking streets this weekend, and any groups of people were easily dispersed, said Michelle Fryling, spokeswoman for IACT. One concern from the spring celebration known as IUPatty’s Day was that it was at times difficult for non-police emergency responders to get quickly to the scene because the crowds were difficult to disperse.

Indiana Borough police responded to 94 calls for service Saturday, up from the average of 27, with 25 people taken into custody, according to Fryling. Of those 25, seven were taken to the Indiana County Jail and three were taken to IRMC for medical treatment; the rest were released to sober adults. Borough police were investigating four drug cases at the time of the press conference Sunday.

Mark Richards, public relations director for IRMC, said it was a normal homecoming weekend in the emergency room.

“It was not much more than is typical,” Richards said. “It wasn’t any worse or any better. Fortunately, it was not some terrible ordeal.”

Borough Council President Nancy Jones said increased involvement of landlords in the planning process made a significant difference in keeping the peace throughout the weekend.

Jones rode along with police on Friday and Saturday night. She said the partying this year was not as intense as she had seen in previous years.

Jones and Fryling said there were no reports of significant property damage.

MORE: See photos from homecoming festivities here

Sean Yoder is a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. He covers Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clymer Borough, and the Penns Manor and Purchase Line area school districts. He graduated from IUP with a degree in journalism and from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in video production.
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